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Category: Music

Local documentary telling Detroit’s jazz legacy premieres at 2024 Freep Film Festival

The 11th annual Freep Film Festival returns to various locations across Detroit and its suburbs, featuring a host of local documentaries with strong ties to the community. One local documentary, “The Best of the Best: Jazz from Detroit,” explores the city’s innovative and influential jazz scene and its impact on the world. “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson talks with the film’s co-producer and writer Mark Stryker.

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Darius Twyman discusses Detroit’s major influence on traditional and contemporary gospel music

Aretha Franklin, The Winans, Mattie Moss-Clark and The Clark sisters. The list of gospel artists with roots in Detroit is long and continues to grow. Local gospel artist Darius Twyman talks with “Detroit Performs” host Satori Shakoor and BridgeDetroit journalist Orlando Bailey about his musical start, Detroit’s major influence on gospel, and the meaning behind his original song “Made It Over.”

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Violinist Nathan Amaral takes home first place in Sphinx Competition Senior Division

Violinist Nathan Amaral, a 28-year-old from Rio de Janeiro, has won the senior division of the 27th annual Sphinx Finals Competition. As the winner, Amaral receives the Robert Frederick Smith Prize, a $50,000 award, and the opportunity to perform with several major orchestras across the nation. Watch Amaral’s first-place performance, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Concerto for Violin in G minor.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines gospel music’s rich history in new PBS docuseries ‘GOSPEL’

A new PBS docuseries, “GOSPEL,” from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. delves into the origins and influence of gospel music on Black spirituality. Host Stephen Henderson talks with Stacey L. Holman, the director and producer of the docuseries, about gospel’s rich history, its impact on the Black church, Detroit’s connection to the genre, and how other music genres have been influenced by gospel.

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Detroit Youth Choir makes its streaming debut with new Disney+ ‘Choir’ series

The Detroit Youth Choir is in the national spotlight once again as the subject of a new Disney+ documentary series called “Choir.” The six-episode series debuts on Jan. 31 and follows the choir as they prepare for one of their biggest performances yet, at Carnegie Hall. One Detroit’s Chris Jordan talked with the choir about the experience making the Disney+ docuseries.

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‘Too Hot To Handel’ returns to Detroit Opera for 20th anniversary performance

“Too Hot To Handel” returns to the Detroit Opera House for its 20th anniversary performance, featuring pianist Alvin Waddles, bassist Marion Hayden, and drummer Dave Taylor. Audience members will also hear Detroit’s oldest choir, The Rackham Choir and solos from singers Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, and Karen Marie Richardson. Contributor Cecelia Sharpe talks with this year’s performers.

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In The Tradition jazz ensemble brings teachings of Kwanzaa to audiences through music

Two upcoming musical performances will share the seven principles of Kwanzaa with audiences through song. In The Tradition’s annual Kwanzaa performances are a way to make the teaching of the holiday more accessible through jazz music. One Detroit’s Sarah Zientarski caught up with the ensemble ahead of their two performances at the Charles H. Wright Museum and Aretha’s Jazz Cafe.

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African American tenor, trailblazer George Shirley reflects on his storied career

As one of the first African American operatic performers, renowned tenor and trailblazer George Shirley’s contributions to the world of opera and music education have left an indelible mark on the industry. Shirley sat down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with 90.9 WRCJ’s Cecelia Sharpe about his remarkable entry into the opera scene and his history as a music educator.

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Rhythms of change: Motown Museum reflects on recording civil rights history 60 years ago

As the nation reflects on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the Detroit Walk to Freedom, an intriguing connection exists between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches and the iconic Motown Records. In an exclusive interview, contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ, delves into this significant link with Robin Terry, Chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum.

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Women in Music: Celebrating Women’s History Month

Whether you’re a fan of rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, country, or classical music, you’ll find inspiring stories, fascinating facts, and amazing performances that showcase the power and passion of women who have shaped the sound of our times.

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Underground sound: Detroit’s punk rock history on display at the All-Star Garage Rock Punk Revue

One Detroit producer Chris Jordan takes viewers back to the two-day Detroit All-Star Garage Rock Punk Revue music festival to learn more about the origins of Detroit’s punk rock history and how it continues to evolve. He talks with festival organizer Smitt E. Smitty, host Michael Halloran, and several of the artists who performed there about the foundation many of the early bands laid, and how newcomers are turning those influences into their own unique sounds.

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Detroit Bass Day marks 9th annual celebration with The Temptations tribute, spoken word poetry

The 9th annual Detroit Bass Day celebrates the 50th recording anniversary of the song “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” made famous by The Temptations, with fifty bass players coming together in front of the Motown Museum to play its iconic bass line. Producer Daijah Moss visits the celebration at the Motown Museum to learn more about the annual gathering and this year’s theme of exploring family life and fatherhood.

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra partners with Kadima Mental Health Services to offer music therapy 

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has partnered with Kadima, a mental health services center, to teach group music classes where clients learn beginner and intermediate music skills, and their favorite songs. One Detroit Arts & Culture Producer Sarah Smith takes viewers behind the scenes of the center’s music therapy classes with the DSO for a look at the benefits of music therapy. 

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Detroit All-Star Garage-Rock Punk Revue Returns for 4th Annual Festival, Expands to Two Days

Detroit’s All-Star Garage-Rock Punk Revue returns for its 4th year, expanding to two days this year. One Detroit’s Chris Jordan caught up with the show’s organizer, Smitt E. Smitty of the 1980s Detroit band Figures on a Beach, as well as iconic WDET ‘Radios in Motion’ DJ Michael Halloran and musician Gary Reichel of Cinecyde, to discuss the show and how it captures Detroit’s punk music history.

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African World Festival Celebrates 39th Anniversary With Return to Detroit’s Hart Plaza

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s 39th annual African World Festival celebrates its 39th anniversary with a return to the location where the festival got started: Detroit’s Hart Plaza. One Detroit contributing producer AJ Walker takes viewers to Hart Plaza on Detroit’s riverfront for a look at how the 39th annual African World Festival played out in 2022.

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Center for Performance Arts & Learning Offers Springboard to Creative Arts for Beginners

At the Center for Performance Arts and Learning, or Cen4Pal for short, culture and diversity come together to provide a safe space for individuals to try their hand at a variety of creative arts. “Detroit Performs: Live From Marygrove” visits Cen4Pal to hear about the environment the educational organization is cultivating and the mission to boost students’ confidence through the creative arts.

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The sacred and the secular: How gospel music grew from the Blues

“American Black Journal” explores how gospel music grew from the blues. Host Stephen Henderson sits down with Baptist pastor and blues musician Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. to explore the connection between the blues and gospel music, and their symbolic, symbiotic relationship. Plus, they discuss gospel music’s roots in the African American community then and today.

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Negro Spirituals: The Music That Helped Free Enslaved African Americans

American Black Journal Producer AJ Walker talks with Dr. Brandon Waddles, a composer, arranger, choir director and music instructor at Wayne State University, about how Negro spirituals uplifted enslaved Africans brought to this country and how it served as a universal language that helped lead them to freedom. Plus, they discuss R&B singers, past and present, whose musical roots stemmed from the Black Church.

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Announces 2022-2023 Season Lineup, Featuring New Commissions, Piano Soloists, Strings Performances

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) returns for its 45th season with a lineup of A-list composers and performers set to take the Orchestra Hall stage later this year. WRCJ Producer and Host Peter Whorf talks with DSO President and CEO Erik Ronmark about what’s ahead for the DSO’s 2022-2023 season and the relationships the symphony has built with artists over the years.

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WRIF’s D.R.E.A.D. Card: Detroit’s First Loyalty Program for Rock Music Lovers

One Detroit senior producer Bill Kubota and “Detroit Remember When: Made in the Motor City” host Erik Smith sit down with several former members of WRIF Radio to hear more about the radio station’s rise to popularity in the late 1970s and 1980s and examine how it became one of the most well-known Detroit rock radio stations still to this day.

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Thornetta Davis Discusses COVID’s Impact on Musicians, Jeff Daniels Collaboration

Detroit’s Queen of the Blues Thornetta Davis sits down with One Detroit’s Christy McDonald to talk about the challenges that many musicians, like herself, have had to navigate for the first time through the pandemic. Plus, she shares how it felt to work with iconic artists Gladys Knight, Bob Segar and Etta James, as well as record a song, “I Am America,” with actor and singer Jeff Daniels.

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UMS, University of Michigan, Philadelphia Orchestra Premiere ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ in Concert

The unique music of John Williams’ orchestrations from the 1971 film “Fiddler on the Roof” is finally coming to the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium theater stage for a first-ever live performance. Before taking the stage, One Detroit’s Arts & Culture team sat down with key members from the upcoming performance to find out what audiences can expect from the concert and hear how the message of “Fiddler on the Roof,” continues to apply today.

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2/14/2022: One Detroit – Fiddler on the Roof, Charles H. Wright, Velvet Peanut Butter & Aaron Lewys

The University of Michigan, University Musical School and The Philadelphia Orchestra team up to bring a unique ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ concert performance to the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Then, explore the life and legacy of Dr. Charles H. Wright, founder of the Museum of African American History. Plus, from “Detroit Remember When: Made in the Motor City,” viewers take a nostalgic trip back to learn about the rise and fall of the Velvet Peanut Butter company. In closing, singer/songwriter Aaron Lewys performs his song “Stop Wasting My Time” for Detroit Performs: Live From Marygrove.

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Trey Simon performs “The Impossible” for Detroit Performs: Live From Marygrove

Trey Simon performs one of his most notable singles,  “The Impossible,” for Detroit Performs: Live From Marygrove. Simon, who has roots in blues music, has crafted a unique identity for himself over the course of his musical career, and some esteemed accolades have come to follow. Simon has opened for the likes of Patti LaBelle, Andra Day and Andy Grammer, and he was nominated for his first Detroit Music Award in 2020. 

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1/31/22: One Detroit – Deidre D.S. Sense, Asbury Park Film, DSO In-Person, Amaryn Olmeda

One Detroit’s Will Glover talks to veteran Detroit hip-hop artist Deidre D.S. Sense about her latest album and quarantine concert series. Contributor Stephen Henderson talks with filmmaker Ken “Legend” Williams about the impact of his new film, ‘Asbury Park.’ One Detroit’s Christy McDonald talks with Erik Ronmark of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the orchestra’s plan to welcome audiences in-person again. And violinist Amaryn Olmeda performs Mozart’s ‘Concerto for Violin No. 3’ 

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Art for Life’s Sake: Discussing Art’s Importance During the Pandemic with Deborah Rutter

Arts Engine Host and professor of Arts Leadership and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan Aaron Dworkin sits down with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Deborah Rutter to talk about the ways the John F. Kennedy Center has pivoted, with its Couch Concerts and Arms Across America livestreams, to still provide artistic programming during the pandemic. Rutter shares her suggestions for how artists can continue to promote themselves and their work during tumultuous times, as well as her opinions on the responsibility of arts organizations to foster relationships with diverse audiences in their local community.

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1/24/22: One Detroit – Albert Kahn, Heidelberg Project, Pandemic Performances, African Drumming

Transport back in time to before Detroit was known as the motor city to learn about the lasting legacy architect Albert Kahn left in Detroit after crafting the Highland Park Ford plant, the Fisher Building and more. Then, One Detroit’s Will Glover catches up with the Heidelberg Project, a three-decade long arts project in east Detroit, to hear how the organization continues to fare during COVID. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Deborah Rutter shares how performances have changed since the pandemic began, and the importance of art in the human experience. Plus, we end the episode with a special Detroit Performs: Live From Maygrove performance of “Could You Love Me” by local folk artist Matt Watroba.

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30 Year Friendship Paves Way for Common Chords Nonprofit

When Reverand Robert Jones Sr. and Matt Watroba, a former teacher, connected 30 years ago, they found something special when they began creating music. Audiences reacted positively to their camaraderie on stage, which led the two to create the Common Chords nonprofit. One Detroit producer Sarah Smith met up with Jones Sr. and Watroba at the reverand’s church, Sweet Kingdom Baptist in Detroit, to hear more about Common Chord’s mission and vision for the organization’s future.

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1/10/22: One Detroit – Common Chords, DDC Dances, Detroit Style Pizza

This week on One Detroit, Arts & Culture: A music nonprofit bringing people together, a dance studio still grooving four decades later, and the origins of Detroit style pizza. One Detroit producer Sarah Smith talks with Common Chords, a music nonprofit created by two local friends, about the organization’s mission. Plus, she talks with DDC Dances founder Barb Selinger about the dance studios continued success 40 years later. Then, One Detroit’s Bill Kubota takes a deep dive into the origins of Detroit style pizza, and where all the cheese went.

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1/03/22: One Detroit – Interlochen Arts, TRIPTYCH Exhibit, Cinecyde,

One Detroit’s Christy McDonald checks in with Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey about the organizations 30 years of growth, and upcoming celebration. We take a look inside the TRIPTYCH: Stronger Together exhibit at the Irwin House Gallery in Detroit, and talk with the artists’ about the meanings behind their work. Plus, hear how Detroit’s punk scene got started in the late 70s with some help from Detroit punk band Cinecyde.

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12/27/21: One Detroit – Hudson’s Holidays, Matthew Shepard Legacy, Glass Blown Ornaments

On this week’s episode of One Detroit Arts and Culture, the Detroit Historical Museum takes Detroiters back in time with its Hudson’s Holidays exhibit; One Detroit’s Zosette Guir talks with University of Michigan Choir Conductor Eugene Rogers about the choir’s “Considering Matthew Shepard” performance; and Epiphany Studios Owner April Wagner shows viewers how to blow their own glass ornaments just in time for the holidays.

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‘Once Upon A December Eve’ Returns Live & Online

It’s a metro Detroit holiday tradition that goes back to 2007 — Alice McAllister Tillman’s “Once Upon A December Eve” performance returns for the holiday season. One Detroit’s Bill Kubota caught up with Tillman to discuss her musical upbringing with her family, how the holiday tradition started, and what viewers can expect from this year’s show.

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University of Michigan Choir Performs “Considering Matthew Shepard”

One Detroit’s Zosette Guir sits down with University of Michigan Chamber Choir Conductor Eugene Rogers to discuss the choir’s recent performance of the oratorio “Considering Matthew Shepard.” Matthew Shepard was a 19-year-old gay college student attending the University of Wyoming who was brutally murdered. The choir’s performance displays a musical response to Shepard’s death, the hate crime, and his legacy.

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Interlochen Celebrates 30 Years of Growth, Diversity

The Interlochen Center for the Arts hosts more than a dozen performances to celebrate the organization’s growth from a summer music program to a global arts and education institution. One Detroit’s Christy McDonalds talks with Interlochen President Trey Devey to discover how completing a 30-year campus master plan has helped the organization evolve.

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Puerto Rican Musician, Activist Ozzie Rivera Reflects on a Lifetime of Music and Culture

Ever since well-known Detroit historian, educator, musician and activist Osvaldo “Ozzie” Rivera was a child, he grew up immersed in traditional Puerto Rican music and culture. One Detroit’s Bill Kubota sat down with Ozzie Rivera to talk about the origins of his passion for music and celebrating culture, memories of drum circles in Clark Park and his outlook on salsa’s longevity.

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Detroit Jazz City

Catch a first glimpse of “Detroit Jazz City,” the upcoming half hour DPTV documentary on Detroit’s role in helping introduce jazz music to the world.

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Detroit Youth Choir

Stephen talks with Detroit Youth Choir Manager LaVell Nero, Theater Coach Kyle Sammy, and DYC member Imari Carl about the group’s sudden rise to fame as runners up on “America’s Got Talent.” We’ll hear what’s next for the choir. 

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8/29/19: One Detroit – Livernois Construction / Water Levels / Women DJ’s

A One Detroit report focuses on the massive streetscape construction project that is hurting businesses along Livernois, the Avenue of Fashion. Plus, Christy talks with the co-owner of Baker’s Keyboard Lounge about how the construction is impacting his business and what the City of Detroit is doing in response to Livernois Avenue business owners’ concerns.

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2/10/19: American Black Journal – Black History Month at The Wright / The Bible is Black History

Stephen gets details on the special Black History Month programming at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which includes a book talk and signing and a tribute to Detroit’s pioneering hip-hop producer J. Dilla.  Plus, a new book uses DNA evidence and the findings of historians and scientists to prove the presence of people of African descent in biblical history.

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1/13/19: American Black Journal – Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit / Sphinx Organization

In the next American Black Journal, the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit welcomes a $1 million gift from Jeffrey Seller, a Michigan native and producer of “Hamilton.” We’ll talk about how the money will benefit the organization in its mission to empower young people through the performing arts. Plus, the 2019 Sphinx Competition Finals Concert is coming up next month. We’ll get the details on this year’s event and how the organization is transforming lives through diversity in the arts. And, we’re treated to an in-studio performance by a Sphinx musician. Don’t miss American Black Journal on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and again on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.

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American Black Journal | Stephen Henderson talks with Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg has amassed an impressive resume which includes, film, television, internet projects, and charitable work in the community. He sits down with American Black Journal host Stephen Henderson to discuss Redemption of a Dogg, his latest creative venture into the world of musical theatre.

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7/22/18: Ribs R&B Festival / Video archive from CPT

More than 150,000 people are expected at this year’s Ribs R&B Music Festival at Hart Plaza. Founder of the festival Johnnie Washington talks to Stephen about the event. Plus, we continue with American Black Journal’s 50th anniversary celebration with archive highlights from “CPT”.

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